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Business Development Strategy 2015

Chief Minister's Message

A strong and sustainable economy is essential for us to meet the needs of the Canberra community now and into the future. We know that our economy will grow as we are diversifying our private sector and that this in turn will create new jobs. That’s why the ACT Government is focussed on continuing to create the right business environment and using our competitive strengths to accelerate innovation and investment.

Through this renewed strategy, we will build on the effective approaches we have pursued over the last three years to support investment, accelerate innovation and create and keep jobs here in the ACT. We will also continue to work with our business community and university sector to create a city with its own distinct economic identity for the future.

Earlier this year I reported to the ACT Legislative Assembly that we had successfully implemented all 26 actions of the 2012 strategy, Growth, Diversification and Jobs. In particular, I highlighted the following key achievements:

  • the creation of the CBR Innovation Network External Link - opens in new window – a first for Australia, bringing together five nationally and internationally renowned higher education and research institutions to work with the ACT Government to grow Canberra’s innovation ecosystem;
  • the establishment of Invest Canberra External Link - opens in new window – to lead the ACT Government’s international promotion initiatives and develop international networks and partnerships; and
  • the launch of Brand Canberra External Link - opens in new window (the CBR brand) – to support business and promote Canberra as Confident, Bold and Ready.
Growth, Diversification and Jobs also played a role in driving broader policy directions across government in relation to enterprise and the digital economy, transformation in services and access to the Government. This can be seen in major Government initiatives, such as Access Canberra, iConnect and the Digital Canberra Action Plan.

This strategy builds on my vision for a strong economy by:

  • creating the right business environment;
  • accelerating innovation to create wealth and jobs; and
  • supporting business investment in future growth areas.
Strong partnerships between the Government, our business community, our world-class education institutions and the region is also a major focus of this strategy because it is these partnerships that are helping make Canberra a truly international city and knowledge economy. The Government recognises that thriving and porous campuses create opportunities for collaboration, commercialisation, and business creation.

We recognise that we need to work closely with organisations like the Canberra Business Chamber and the CBR Innovation Network to shape and build support for the directions we collectively need to pursue, and we also need to work together with our nearby regional neighbours to shape a compelling and inclusive economic value proposition.

Canberra’s creativity and connectedness provides a strong foundation for a dynamic business sector and economy. By working together with a shared vision we will continue to ensure Canberra is a preferred location for businesses to operate as we build a strong and diversified Canberra economy for the future.

Andrew Barr MLA
Chief Minister
May 2015

Creating the Right Business Environment

Priority 1

Through Access Canberra, we will simplify and improve the flow of services and information between the community, business and the ACT Government.

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Priority 2

We will appoint a Local Industry Advocate and promote a Local Industry Participation Policy to ensure our small and medium-sized enterprises have clear pathways to participate in government procurement.

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Priority 3

We will establish a Small Business Innovation Partnership Program to allow innovative local businesses to develop new products and services for the ACT Government with the potential to sell these products and services to other governments and clients.

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Priority 4

We will continue the reforms we began in 2012 to make the ACT’s tax system fairer, simpler and more efficient thereby contributing to the ACT’s long-term economic development. In particular, we will:

  • raise the threshold for payroll tax to $2 million by 2016–17;
  • cut conveyance duties in every Territory Budget; and
  • abolish inefficient duties on insurance on 1 July 2016. 
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Accelerating Innovation to Create Wealth and Jobs

Priority 5

We will focus on economic development in our relationship with the higher education and research sector. In partnership with the sector, we will continue to position and promote Canberra as Australia’s higher education and research capital.

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Priority 6

In partnership with the CBR Innovation Network we will support the higher education and research institutions’ goals of developing the following key capability areas:

  • The National Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Precinct;
  • The ICT and e-Government Cluster;
  • The Cyber Security Innovation Cluster;
  • The ACT Space Innovation Cluster;
  • The Sports Technology Cluster; and
  • The Health Innovation Cluster.
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Priority 7

In partnership with the CBR Innovation Network, we will:

  • boost entrepreneurial capability, capacity and pathways to support start-ups and innovative companies to grow and access national and international markets and supply chains; and
  • connect our city’s research base and small and medium-sized enterprises to commercial opportunities.
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Supporting Business Investment in Future Growth Areas 

Priority 8

Through our Renewable Energy Industry Development Strategy we will accelerate the development of the ACT’s renewable energy industry for the benefit of participating businesses, institutions and the ACT community.

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Priority 9

We will grow Canberra’s visitor economy through support for special events and by working with industry and regional partners to promote Canberra and the region to Australia and key international markets.

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Priority 10 

We will work with our universities and the CIT to increase the number of international and interstate students who choose Canberra as their education destination.

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Priority 11 

Through Invest Canberra, we will engage with national and multinational companies to support their growth in Canberra and encourage reinvestment.

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Priority 12 

We will develop an International City Strategy to guide and support direct engagement efforts with international cities with aligned interests and opportunities.

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Priority 13

We will partner with key industry advisors to further develop the Canberra Brand over 2015–16 and 2016–17.

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Full version of the strategy